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  • Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Pinochet declared fit to face charges of kidnap and murder

    Augusto Pinochet, the renowned 89 year old former dictator of Chile, and good friend of Thatcher is fit to stand trial for kidnap and murder a judge ruled yesterday. Apparently, his lawyers immediately declared that they would appeal the ruling. Pinochet grabbed power in Chile by way of a bloody coup in September 1973, this article is a good one which looks at declassified documents on Chile from the US. Among the information contained in the documents was this: The declassified State Department, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency reports name names, places and events. One DIA analysis, titled "Covert Counter-subversive Activities in Chile," reveals for example that the bombing of two houses in Santiago during the first week of November 1977 was the work of Chile's Army, Navy and Air Force intelligence services, not of the left, as the regime claimed at the time. The use of bombs, the DIA source explained, was "a conscious decision by the service intelligence chiefs that the best way to deal with the safe house problem is by blowing them up, if possible, with the terrorists present. Arrests and prosecutions would 'take months'; an explosion would produce speedy results." Another intelligence report, dated November 20, 1975, describes a meeting between the heads of the Chilean military intelligence services-all named-to address "illegal detentions" by the Air Force, Navy and military police. At the time, according to the CIA, Pinochet had issued "a secret decree" ordering that only the Directorate of National Intelligence (DINA) was supposed to engage in detaining and interrogating political prisoners. DINA was responsible for many of the kidnappings, torture and disappearances inside Chile, as well as acts of international terrorism in Argentina, Italy and the United States. The US documents, which include a comprehensive "organizational diagram," reveal the structure, operations and abuses of DINA in more detail than was previously known. More important, CIA and DIA intelligence reports demonstrate that these atrocities continued because Pinochet alone protected this sinister force from being shut down or restructured by other members of the junta. However, it does not seems the US wanted to release an awful lot of documents relating to its own part in the brutal dictatorship in Chile. This link is a useful one, which looks at some of the well known graduates from the School of the Americas who took part in executions and kidnappings. Among the graduates at this US based terrorist trainig camp was an Alejandro Burgos. According to testimony by Luz Arce, Burgos was involved in a plan to get left-wing political prisoners who had been tortured into collaborating with the DINA to meet with the U.S. Ambassador to show that they had changed their political convictions. Another graduate from the "school" was Miguel Krassnoff, he was one of 30 officials cited in the case of Augusto Pinochet for crimes of genocide, terrorism, torture, and illegal arrest. A former member of the DINA, Krassnoff was known by political prisoners held and tortured at Villa Grimaldi, Tress Alamos and Cuatro Alamos. Implicated in the death by torture of former Spanish diplomat Carmelo Soria in 1976. Took part in the assault on the residence of former president Salvador Allende who was deposed by the Army in Sept. 1973. In 1996, the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the School of the Americas which taught students about torture, extortion and kidnapping. So, if Pinochet is to be charged with Kidnap and murder, then those who taught his underlings how to execute people, and torture dissidents should also be prosecuted don't you think?

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